Cherishing natural wonders and local histories – Part 1

They say if you need a major laid-back staycation surrounded by green leaves and refreshing air, Indonesia tops the list of choice. In fact, that’s where you can enjoy cultural histories since Dutch Colonialism up to date, don’t you think so?

Having said that, I’m brave enough to tell you Indonesia deserves to be one of the best countries that we never feel bored to visit, yet so many times because there are just too many you can see. Without further ado, let’s explore with me here on what can you expect to do in West Sumatra.

Witness Lembah Anai Waterfall with your naked eyes

TO BE FRANK, I was never into waterfall until I climbed the stony stairs only to be captivated by waterfall. Heck, listening to the sound of water streaming down the Earth, breathing in such fresh oxygen, and enjoying the scenic view can make you feel stress-free.

Lembah Anai Waterfall is around 46.5 KM away from Minangkabau International Airport and about 1 hour journey by car. Along the journey too, you can spot on an old railway which is no longer usable. Oh isn’t that the time for perfect shot with a background of waterfall? I believe so. And of course, if you’d like to soak yourself in the natural ‘bathtub’, don’t forget to bring suitable swimsuits.

Quick check: The water is clean and clear so please ensure that you do not abuse the nature by littering. 

Delve into local history at Minangkabau Culture Documentation and Information Centre

Speaking of West Sumatra, the locals in Indonesia may regard this place as Minangkabau. But what is Minangkabau? Also known as Minang, it is originally an ethnic group indigenous to the Minangkabau Highlands. One interesting fact about Minang ethnic is the passing down of property from mother to daughter in the name of protecting the social status of female as a whole.

Located in Padang Panjang, there is a strong standing museum-like building that resembles ‘Rumah Gadang’ (Big House) which archives a lot of Minang histories so they can be established as a future reference for the tourists to see. The house was built in 1988, August 8th. Quite a nice date huh?

Fact: The Rumah Gadang itself serves a place to stay, or as a residence, a hall for family gatherings, and for ceremonial activities. All Minangkabau houses have a horn-like shape roof that represents the horn of buffalo.

Sip a cup of tea in front of Mount Marapi

Yes you read it. While Indonesia is so full of natural wonders, the locals also employ their creativity to build a place where you can sip a cup of tea while at the same time you can enjoy the scenic view of Mount Marapi. The view is all yours when you reach up to Rumah Budaya Fadli Zon, and upon entering, you’re welcome by flowers too!

I say…. this is a perfect getaway for those who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with full comfort. Feasting your eyes with nature may not be enough too without discerning the faces of the fighter who fought for the independence of Indonesia. Rumah Budaya Badli Zon was set up with a lot of photos being hung on the wall to commemorate their sacrifice.


Do you know? Rumah Budaya Badli Zon stores a multitude of historic collection such as Keris Luk Sembilan from Pagaruyung made in the 18th century.

Learn how to weave at Satu Karya Pandai Sikek

Weaving is no doubt a skill that requires great patience in order to craft a complete product using thread. At Pandai Sikek, there’s a high chance that you will observe a local lady, being in full concentration amidst her weaving process. In one day, only 4 to 5 CM can be done as the weaving activity can suck up your energy and also it needs the attention of eye to sustain the focus on.

In fact, Satu Karya Pandai Sikek is a heavenly place for women to buy traditional garments and textiles. Getting here? It is advisable that your trip should have a ‘supir’ (private driver) to bring you, not limited to one location only. The place is approximately 12.4 KM away from Bukittinggi City and requires around 30 minutes of your journey.

Marvel at Panorama Park, Bukittinggi 

So who says one needs to travel to United States in order to marvel at Grand Canyon? For us living in South East Asia, there’s this so called ‘Grand Canyon’ at Panorama Park, Bukittinggi if you wish to warm up before materialising your dream. Upon arrival, you’ll be in awe to see the big canyon surrounded by green bushes. Have I mentioned that you can pose for a photo on a stage with the canyon as your background?

Panorama Park is located in Bukittinggi. Voted among the best places to visit in West Sumatra, it is physically high landed so you may expect the weather to drop down to 18°C at night. For those living near the equator, 18°C may be cold enough that we need to get some extra layer on the body.

Set foot in Lobang Jepang 

Getting into a cave is creepy and the experience you get inside may give you goosebumps the second you step into it. But turn the concept down as Lobang Jepang is a whole new different story. True, Lobang Jepang was once a Japanese sanctuary over decades ago when they were in control of Indonesia.

The large bunker was a hard work of Indonesian slaves back in the era of World War II. There are just too many untold stories you may hear from the tourist guide when visiting this cave. It was also a place where the armies put their weapons and ammunition. The history also said that Japanese armies used this cave to ‘cook’ (read: kill), have meetings, and torture those who were disobedient.

But today, the Japanese hole is open for visitation and it serves as one of the top-listed attractions to see. No worries, it isn’t as dark as it used to be.

Caution: Interesting as it may be, careful of the stony stairs when going down and watch your steps. Never come alone if you want to see this cave.

So…. do you want more? This is just the beginning. Of course I have a lot in hands to share with you. Stay tuned! Now let’s watch a short video below.

Note: The article is made through the Familiarisation Trip to West Sumatra in September. The content is originally published and owned by me. 



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